Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Cellular-telephone use and brain tumors. epidem.

Published in: N Engl J Med 2001; 344 (2): 79-86

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To examine whether the use of cellular telephones causes brain tumors a case-control study was conducted in the USA.

Further details

More detailed information about the study methods are available in the publication 8978.
Regular use of a cellular telephone was defined as two or more calls per week. Persons who used a cellular telephone less than five times in their lives or never used one on a regular basis (at least 2 calls/week) were classified in the category "never or rarely use".

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation: (relative risk (RR))

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 use of hand-held cellular telephones: no use
Group 2 use of hand-held cellular telephones: 1 to 5 times in life
Group 3 use of hand-held cellular telephones: > 5 times in life
Group 4 use of hand-held cellular telephones: regular use
Reference group 5 average daily use: never or rarely used
Group 6 average daily use: < 3 min
Group 7 average daily use: 3 to < 15 min
Group 8 average daily use: ≥ 15 min
Group 9 average daily use: ≥ 60 min
Reference group 10 duration of regular use: never or rarely used
Group 11 duration of regular use: < 0.5 year
Group 12 duration of regular use: 0.5 to < 3.0 years
Group 13 duration of regular use: ≥ 3.0 years
Group 14 duration of regular use: ≥ 5.0 years
Reference group 15 cumulative use: never or rarely used
Group 16 cumulative use: < 13 hours
Group 17 cumulative use: 13 to 100 hours
Group 18 cumulative use: > 100 hours
Group 19 cumulative use: > 500 hours
Reference group 20 year use began: never or rarely used
Group 21 year use began: 1995 through 1998
Group 22 year use began: 1993 or 1994
Group 23 year use began: ≤ 1992
Group 24 year use began: < 1990

Population

Case group

Control group

Study size

Cases Controls
Participants 782 799
Other:

489 cases with glioma, 197 with meningioma and 96 with acoustic neuroma

Statistical analysis method: (adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

The use of cellular telephones was not significantly associated with the relative risk of glioma, meningioma, or acoustic glioma. No association was found with cumulative use or the laterality of use of cellular telephones.

Limitations (acc. to author)

The observation time was too short to evaluate the risks among long-term, heavy users and for potentially long tumor latency periods.

Study funded by

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